DTP Prizes and Awards

In April each year, the Division of Theoretical Physics (DTP) and the Winnipeg Institute for Theoretical Physics (WITP) will award one DTP/WITP P.R. Wallace Thesis Prize to a student receiving a PhD degree in Physics from a Canadian University.

The thesis must be in theoretical physics and completed (final version) less than 2 years before the submission deadline of 15 January of the Prize year. The DTP/WITP P.R. Wallace Prize winner must be a member of the CAP and the DTP when the Prize is presented, at the annual Theory CANADA conference, in late May or early June.

Please visit our Thesis Prize Guidelines and Application page for rules and submission requirements.


2019 Thesis Prize Winners:

Robie Hennigar, University of Waterloo

Evan McDonough, McGill University

Past Winners:

2018: Philippe Landry (PhD University of Guelph, 2016) with a thesis entitled “Tidal Response of a Rotating Neutron Star in General Relativity.

2017: No competition held.

2016: Vincent Genest (PhD Université de Montréal 2015) with a thesis entitled “Algebraic Structures, Super-Integrable systems and Orthogonal Polynomials”.

2015: Soloman Akaranka Owerre (Ph.D. Université de Montréal 2014) Thesis: “Études de l’effet tunnel des spins quantiques macroscopiques” (Studies of the tunnel effect of macroscopic quantum spins).


About the DTP-WITP P. R. Wallace Prize

The DTP-WITP PhD Thesis Prize has been renamed the DTP-WITP P R Wallace PhD Thesis Prize. The change promotes awareness of the history of physics in Canada, by honouring a pioneer in Canadian theoretical physics.

The case for naming the prize after P R Wallace was made forcefully in:

  • B Joós (2006). “In Memoriam: Philip Russell Wallace, 1915–2006”. Physics in Canada. July/August 2006: 134.
  • K Gottfried, J D Jackson, C S Lam (Sep 2006). “Philip Russell Wallace”. Physics Today. 59 (9): 78.
  • P R Wallace. Wikipedia page (last edited 20 June 2018).

Highlights:

  • Wallace founded the DTP and served as its first Chair.
  • Like the prize winners, Wallace did his PhD in Canada. He was a PhD student at the U of T of Infeld, a collaborator of Einstein (and also Born).
  • Wallace was a long-serving professor at McGill, and a trail blazer for theoretical physics in Canada. First appointed in the Math Department, he later created and led McGill’s Institute of Theoretical Physics, and finally managed to have theoretical physics integrated into the Physics Department.
  • Wallace’s 1947 Physical Review paper, “The Band Theory of Graphite’’, has now been cited more than 5300 times (Google Scholar). His two-dimensional calculation applies to graphene. The 2010 Nobel Prize was awarded “ground-breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.’’
  • Wallace worked in an impressive range of topics, including relativity, nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.
  • He had an impact on the teaching of physics. Wallace wrote 3 books, including a textbook on mathematical methods in physics. He also played a role in the creation of Jackson’s important book on electrodynamics: in the preface to its first edition we read “Special mention must be made of P R Wallace of McGill, who gave me the opportunity and encouragement to teach what was then a rather unorthodox course in electromagnetism.’’